Which is better for the consumer, pharmaceutical medicine or herbal medicine? There are good sides and bad sides to both types of medicine. Because of my own personal experience with several different antidepressants and heart burn medicine made by pharmacy companies and their herbal, or natural, equivalent, I can provide my point of view with these two particular types of medicine, but does not mean it is true with everyone.
Before we begin, I shall start with my personal experience with the pharmaceutical antidepressants in comparison to their more natural equivalent, without going too much into detail. My own personal experience regarding antidepressants was horrible and the medicine itself didn't treat the problem, but made it worse. Over the years, I took the time to actually realize that the antidepressants my doctor prescribed me were not good for me at all so I stopped taking them all together. Even though these pharmaceutical antidepressants work well with my mother and some others in my family, it had a bad reaction to my own body chemistry. My depression was worse, I didn't care for hygiene, myself, anyone else around me, and I was always tired. When I stopped taking them, I began feeling better, I wasn't as tired but instead happily walking everywhere I go, more upbeat, cleaner, and people noticed how much happier I was. Unfortunately, I have rapid mood swings, that of which can cause a lot of problems in any social situation. My husband-to-be suggested that I start taking the natural equivalent of antidepressants called St. John's Wort. Before making such a decision, though I did not consult a doctor on this one, I did a bit of research on this particular herb.
I happened upon a website called 'National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine' (NCCAM), at the 'National Institutes of Health' (NIH), a government website that tells about the plant known as St. John's Wort and it's history. The plant itself is long living with yellow flowers and used over the centuries for treating mental conditions and various other health conditions. The plant can be taken as either a tea, capsule, or liquid, and is used for stabilizing moods. Even though this herb is not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), it has, however, been approved by the USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia), in which it meets the standards for disintegration, meaning that it dissolves int the body properly. After about a week of taking this natural mood stabilizer, my own self did not change, but my rapid mood swings ceased. The bottle, itself, does state that you must consult your healthcare professional before using St. John's Wort, especially if you are taking any prescription medicines or have any medical conditions.
Long before recorded history, herbal medicines have been used by Chinese, Native Americans, Egyptians, and so forth. Herbal medicines, according to Ancient Chinese and Egyptians papyrus, have been used even before 3,000 B.C. Some cultures used them for healing rituals while others used more advanced forms of herbal medicines. When chemical analysis became available in the early 19th century, scientists began extracting and modifying active ingredients from plants, later developing their own chemical compounds and thus resulting in the declined use of herbal medicine.
There other types of alternative medicines beside just herbal or pharmaceutical that has been approved by the FDA. These types are called homeopathic medicine, which is a combination of both herbal and synthetic medicine. “Homeopathic drugs have been marketed on a limited scale by a few manufacturers”, until recently when the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA or the Act) recognizes them as official drugs and standards in Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the U.S. Even though homeopathic medicine has been FDA approved and recognized as an...